Heroin Addiction: Facts, Effects & Recovery

heroin addiction

Heroin is highly addictive and is one of the most physically harmful drugs available, making detoxification both extremely important and extremely difficult.

What Is Heroin?

An opioid and narcotic, heroin is highly addictive and is one of the most physically harmful drugs available, making detoxification both extremely important and extremely difficult.  A chemical relative of morphine, heroin provides the user with a relaxing “high.” It is described as a pain reliever and euphoric high all in one. Chemical dependence on heroin can be almost immediate, as the drug encourages an addictive quality in the body, causing changes in the brain as the addiction builds. These changes increase the addict’s tolerance, pushing him to use higher quantities more often, in turn furthering their addiction. (Among addicts, this endless search for a high that equals the last is called “chasing the dragon,” and is especially common among heroin users.) Behavioral changes often follow as the addiction deepens, and the family member or friend you once knew can slowly disappear before your eyes.

Heroin usually looks like a white or brown powder. Street names for heroin include “smack,” “H,” “skag,” and “junk.” Other names may refer to types of heroin produced in a specific geographical area, such as “Mexican black tar.” Heroin can be smoked , injected, and snorted as previously mentioned. Heroin addiction can be difficult to treat, but heroin addiction treatment has been successful. Sometimes drugs such as methadone, and more recently suboxone, are used to help a person with the withdrawal and cravings after heroin cessation.

The effects of heroin happen soon after a single dose and last a few hours. After someone injects heroin, the person feels a surge of euphoria (commonly referred to as a “rush”) accompanied by a warm flushing of the skin, a dry mouth, and heavy extremities. Soon after the initial rush, the user goes “on the nod,” an alternately wakeful and drowsy state, where the person seems to be on the verge of falling asleep, or “nodding out.” The drug heroin depresses the CNS (Central Nervous System) causing slowed and slurred speech, slow gait, constricted pupils, droopy eyelids, impaired night vision, vomiting, and constipation.

The Most Difficult Disease to Be Free of.

Heroin can take everything from the addict, affecting not just his or her mental health, but physical health, social connections, career, and even legal status as well. Risk-taking behaviors spurred by the addiction can lead to criminal activity, and the need for heroin often overrides the need for safety and basic nutrition. It can replace hobbies, school attendance and even work. The further the individual falls into addiction, the worse his life can become, and so strong is its hold that on individuals addicted to heroin that cravings can persist even after successful detoxification.

At Northbound, we realize that lasting recovery can only begin after a heroin addict successfully completes a heroin detox program.  After the heroin detox, the addict begins the concrete foundation necessary to for stable, long-term recovery. Northbound’s heroin addiction treatment program will give the victim of heroin addiction the tools necessary to curb cravings, avoid triggers and live a productive, drug free life.

 

Heroin Addiction Treatment

With over 25 years of experience in treating heroin addiction, Northbound Treatment Services has earned a reputation for successfully combining 12 step principles and other therapies to create a path to long-term sobriety. The first step is detoxification and stabilization, completed with 24 hour medical supervision in our oneEighty detox center. Every client who enters Northbound is given an individualized treatment plan that take into account his or her needs and challenges and provides the best chance for sustained recovery. With 30, 60 and 90 days programs, gender specific treatment programs and experiential therapies, Nourthbound provides a healthy and holistic approach for clients who need the skill and compassion that only our clinical staff can provide. Our ultimate goal is one year of sobriety, and our 2:1 staff to client ratio reflects the value we place on helping individuals achieve that goal.

heroin rehab

Moreover, we recognize that the victim of addiction is not the only one suffering. Therefore, Northbound offers a family counseling program that will help loved ones understand what a heroin addict is going through, and how to provide them with help and support.

If you or someone you love is suffering from an addiction to heroin, don’t wait until it’s too late. Call Northbound any time and get started on the path to a new, healthy and sober life.